Scrimmage Thoughts

By Drew Hammen

I want to start by thanking all of the fans for the decent turnout and great support for our team.  Intrasquad scrimmages are always difficult to watch and compete in.  There are awkward silences for the fans, and we are competing against our practice partners whom we are very familiar with.  However, it's a good way to gauge where we are at as a team, what we have to work on, and how we have to adjust our competition-day routine.

As a team, we looked pretty active and aggressive for the most part.  The teammate I was most impressed with was freshman Shawn Perry.  It did not matter to him that Ruschell is a returning All-American; he came after Kyle every second and did not stop until the whistle blew.  The mentality that Perry showed is what we strive to attain throughout practices and competition.  Despite those who went out there and opened up their offense, there were a few guys who froze up.  I know that these guys have solid offense, I observe it daily, but they need to open up when they get on the competition mat and let it all out.  We are a very offensive team, both on our feet and on the mat, but it will become a problem if we cannot transfer that aggressiveness over during competition.

With the first competition for some of the guys coming up on November 7 at the Loras Open, this is a great time to evaluate us as individuals.  Usually I evaluate myself everyday, writing things down after practice and before I go to bed, so I remember certain technique and what I need to improve on for the next workout.  This is essential for consistently improving throughout the year.  With that said, I look back at the scrimmage and understand that I need to fix some of my techniques on top to get more turns.  I feel confident on my feet with my leg attacks, counter-offense and hand-fighting, but I'm as confident on top right now, which is my best position.  Starting with our practice on Saturday morning, I'm going to focus on these specific positions on top and make the proper adjustments to help me open up matches with turns and pins.

Going into my fifth year, I have a good idea on what things I need to eat, what I need to do before weigh-ins to feel good and how to recover my body after weigh-ins.  Although these may seem like minute dilemmas, they are very important in making sure that the body is ready to go the pace that we want to go during competition.  It will take some of the newcomers on the team time to figure out what works for their body, as everyone is unique and responds to training and nutrition differently.  This is probably the most difficult part about preparing for competition for these young guys and something they need to learn as they mature.  Once they figure it out, it will help their mental toughness knowing that their body will respond the way they want during competition.

Thank you all for the support again!

ON WISCONSIN